Tag Archives: Nazi persecution

Gay World History – September 5, 1987: Amsterdam’s “Homomonument” Dedicated

On September 5, 1987, Amsterdam’s Homomonument  was revealed and dedicated to all the gay men and lesbians who had been subjected to persecution because of their sexuality at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II.

The Homomonument is the first memorial in the world that commemorate all the gay men and women who lost their lives in the Second World War. Under the Hitler regime, homosexuals were persecuted and eliminated just because of their sexual orientation, as they didn’t fit into the project of a big, strong Aryan nation. They had to wear a pink triangle on their clothes as a marker that they were gay

The monument takes the form of three large pink triangles made of granite, set into the ground so as to form a larger triangle, on the bank of the Keizersgracht canal, near the historic Westerkerk church. The Homomonument was designed to “inspire and support lesbians and gays in their struggle against denial, oppression and discrimination.”

As well as the triangle on the canal, which has a set of steps leading to the water where floral wreaths are frequently laid, there is a triangle on land 60 cm high and a memorial triangle at street level. The three triangles—each measuring 10 meters (30 ft) on each side—together form a larger triangle connected on each side by a thin row of pink granite bricks. This larger triangle measures 36 meters on each side.

The alignments of the three points of the larger triangle are symbolic. One points towards the National War Memorial on Dam Square. One points towards the house of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who was deported to her death by the Nazis across the canal. And the third points towards the headquarters of COC Nederland, the Dutch gay rights group founded in 1946, making it the oldest continuously operating gay and lesbian organisation in the world.

The monument was originally designed in 1980, and commissioned after gay activists were arrested in 1970 for placing a lavender wreath on Amsterdam’s National War Memorial in Dam Square to remember all the gay men and lesbians who died during the war years.

 

Israel To Erect Monument In Rememberance Of LGBT’s Persecuted By The Nazis

Gay nazi prisoners

Although an exact number will never be known, between 1933 and 1945, under the notorious Paragraph 175 of the Nazi penal code, which banned homosexual relations between men, somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 gay men were murdered in Nazi concentration camps and over 100,000 were either arrested jailed, beaten and tortured.

World War II experts believe that the death rate of homosexuals in concentration camps may have been as high as 60%.- 80%.

History has proven that in the concentration camps gay and lesbian prisoners were treated to unusual and heinous punishments and and cruelties, even worse than the Nazi captors were known for.  Not only did the Nazis abuse the gay prisoners, but so did other prisoner as well.  They were considered to be the lowest of low. They were beaten, tortured, experimented on and some were used for target practice by SS soldiers, who aimed at the pink triangles that the gay men were forced to wear to designate that they were homosexual on their chest.  And of course some met their ends in the same way as the six million Jews, Poles, and Gypsies from that horrible time.

Persecution of gays and lesbians by the Nazis remained little known for decades, and what was known was spoken in whispers. It wasn’t until 2002 that the German government apologized to the gay community and until  2005, the European Parliament approved a resolution on the Holocaust that finally acknowledged the persecution of gays.

Now Israel’s plans to build it’s first monument to homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis will be erected in central Tel Aviv’s Meir Park (Gan Meir) later this year, near the headquarters of the Gay Center.

At the center of the monument will be a concrete triangle containing a pink triangle, the symbol used by the Nazis used to mark homosexuals. A bench and plaque beside the monument will give information about the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust which will be inscribed wiht the following statement: “To the memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual preference and gender identity.”

The monument, was the idea of attorney Eran Lev, a member of the municipal council from the Meretz party.

This will be the first and only memorial site in Israel to mention the victims of the Nazis who were persecuted for anything other than being Jewish,” Lev has stated. “As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay center, Tel Aviv will offer a memorial site that is universal in its essence.”

Memorials to the LGBT victims of Nazi persecution exist in Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sydney and San Francisco. Most of them contain the pink triangle.

Source: Hareetz.com